Saving money is a must for the young adult living in an apartment–and frankly, it’s a welcome idea to just about anyone. Groceries are a necessary expense, but nonetheless, they eat up a lot of your income. Here are a few tips to help you save money on groceries–and maybe put that money toward your rent payment.
1. Make a Monthly Budget
Take the time to sit down and design a monthly budget. Divvy up the money from your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly paycheck toward expenses such as rent payment, utilities, car payments, loan payments, groceries, entertainment, and savings. Look at what you’re currently spending on groceries each month, and see if you can start off by spending between $20-50 less on groceries each month.
2. Stick to Your Monthly Budget
Once you’ve designed a monthly budget and given yourself the goal of cutting back between $20-50 on groceries per month, stick to it. The amount may seem small, but it’ll add up and you’ll be saving money on a larger scale in the long run. Bring a calculator with you if need be, and add the cost of each item to your total as you place it in your cart.
3. Cut Out the Junk
Saving money on groceries is easy when you cut out the junk. To meet your $20-50 less goal, junk food should be the first to go. Not only is junk food among the most expensive food items you’ll find in a grocery store, it’s not good for you. Allow yourself some healthy snacks (fruits, yogurt, granola, etc.) instead.
4. Design Weekly Meal Plans
Plan out all of your meals (including snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinners) before you go grocery shopping, and make a list of ingredients you’ll need to make these meals. Stick to the list, and don’t be tempted by the attractive store displays! You’ll not only be saving money, you’ll be sticking to a healthy diet.
5. Buy in Bulk
You’ll shop less often and save money if you buy foods you use in bulk. Plan a list of meals for a month, and buy bulk ingredients from grocery or warehouse stores.
6. Join a Frequent Shopper Club
Many grocery stores offer frequent shopper affinity programs for free. With a membership in the club, you’ll be eligible for extra savings each week and/or possibly savings at the gas pump.
7. Start Clipping and Become a Coupon Master!
Clip coupons out of the Sunday paper (but only if you actually planned to buy the items before you saw the coupons), and look for grocery stores that offer “double coupon” days. The savings really add up. You can also get coupons online through many reputable coupon websites–just be sure to check out their legitimacy!
Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to saving money on groceries. Then you’ll have more money to make your rent payment, to save, or just to pamper yourself!